Trip Highlights: Shy, Black-browed and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Giant Petrel sp., Parasitic Jaeger, Pomarine Jaeger, Great Shearwater, Subantarctic Skua and Sabine's Gull.
A group of birders left Simon's Town at 07:25 on 26 March 2017 in very calm sea and no wind aboard a Cape Town Pelagics trip. The trip out to Cape Point was uneventful. The skipper was advised of fishing boats in the west, so we headed out on a 270 deg course. A Pomerine Jaeger and a Giant Petrel rushed past and we saw a few Sabine's Gulls on the way out. The info proved correct as we located 5 trawlers at about 25 miles and spent the rest of the trip with some of them, picking up fantastic close views of the expected bird species, many sitting on the water in totally windless conditions (the birds being reluctant to fly with no wind assistance).
The trip back to False Bay, as well as in the Bay, was also in windless conditions - except for a 5 knots following wind from Smitswinkel Bay. Very few birds were seen on the homeward journey. A brief stop alongside the Bank Cormorant breeding colony at Partridge Point and views of Cape Fur Seals nearby.
Of interest, a totally windless trip - very unusual off Cape Point.
Species seen and approximate numbers:
Shy Albatross - 100
Black-Browed Albatross - 100
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross - 10
Giant Petrel Sp - 1
White chinned Petrel - 800
Sooty Shearwater - 40
Great Shearwater - 60
Cory's Shearwater - 30
European Storm Petrel - 20
Wilson's Storm Petrel - 100
Subantarctic Skua - 15
Pomerine Jaeger - 1
Parasitic Jaeger - 1
Sabine's Gull - 20
Swift Tern - 5
Cape Fur Seal
A message from Cape Town Pelagics:
A huge thank you to our experienced skippers who are
able to safely lead us to the best birding areas and
skillfully manoeuvre the boat into just the best position
while all on board are busy concentrating on the birds!
Coordinating a pelagic trip over a year in advance
with guests from all across South Africa and different
countries around the world requires an organised office
team. We thank them for their special eye for detail
- and for the sometimes last-minute rearrangements
and frustration if the weather delays the trip to
another day! Our biggest thank-you is to our Cape
Town Pelagics guides who take time out of their work,
often involving seabirds and conservation, and time
away from their families, to provide our guests with
a world-class birding experience. Cape Town Pelagics
donates all it profits to seabirds, and so all the
participants who join the trip make a contribution
towards bird research and conservation - a big thank
you from all of us.
Trip Report by Cape Town Pelagics
guide Alvin Cope.
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